The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Thesis

Improved Essays
The book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” dives into the story of an African-American woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer and died at a young age shortly after, leaving behind 5 children, a husband, and many cousins. When Henrietta was at John Hopkins being treated for her cancer, the doctors took a sliver of her tumor and cultured it to see if they could make the cell “immortal”. This all happened back in the 50’s when colored people weren’t seen as equal citizens to white people. Because of this, doctors withheld a lot of information, and they took the sliver from her without her consent and supposedly never told her about it. (Although there was one colleague who claimed that Gey did in fact tell Henrietta about the cells, …show more content…
It talks about each of her children and where they are now and what kind of trouble they got into. Skloot becomes close friends with Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah. This is apparent in how much she is in the story.
Henrietta Lacks unknowingly made a huge contribution to science and got very little credit for it until many years later. Even then when she got credit for it, no one knew much about her. It’s important that a book came out about Henrietta because without her contribution to science, we could potentially be decades behind where we are now. With genetic mapping and learning how chromosomes work – who knows when that could’ve been discovered without her contributions! Henrietta Lacks is a name that deserves to be known and her story deserves to be known as
…show more content…
Before reading this book, I knew a lot already about the HeLa cells and what kind of scientific advancements came from them. But, even though I knew a lot about HeLa, I didn’t know much about Henrietta Lacks. It demonstrates that behind a lot of our scientific advancements, there’s a real person who made that happen. Especially in Henrietta’s case, where she was unknown until after she had died, it’s important for people to hear about her and to hear her story because she was unable to share it herself. It was a very good book, and I highly recommend that anyone entering into any health profession should read this book and learn about Henrietta Lacks, not just the HeLa

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The story was written to tell her story and what happened with her family. The story tells all about her life and after she died. Henrietta made a big contribution to science even though she didn’t even know. Henrietta was a strong woman who helped do some amazing things. Even though her family was never told the book shows their side of the story and proves a point about certain things that needed to be done for science.…

    • 1268 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Henrietta Lacks Sacrifice

    • 1361 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Henrietta Lacks has helped millions of people throughout the years and most people have no idea who this woman was or what her sacrifice did for mankind. In Zimmer (2013) and Radiolab (2010) we briefly learn about Henrietta, who is more famously known for her cancer cells. She was a poor, uneducated black woman from Baltimore who died at the age of 31 in 1951. She may have been an uneducated woman, however, she did no her own body and she knew something was wrong. She, herself was the first person to notice that she had a growth on her cervix and she needed to have it taken care of.…

    • 1361 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The historical nonfiction book The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot tells of a African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks who died from cervical cancer. Throughout her sickness her visits to the doctor can best be described as skeptical. Living in the 1940’s racism may have played a role in her questionable treatment. The biggest issue that arose from her treatment was that cells were removed from her tumor without her informed consent. These cells would go on to be immortal and revolutionize…

    • 1232 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The family, due to their lack of knowledge about human cells still thought Henrietta was alive. While scientists were making profits off of Henrietta’s cells, the Lack’s family could barely afford a doctor’s visit. The family was clueless of the money that was being made off of their mother. Skloot and Deborah begin to investigate Henrietta’s life as well as Elsie’s, to uncover the real truth that was hidden for years. Eventually they go to Crownsville and learn about how Elsie was abused and left to die alone.…

    • 921 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When Henrietta found out she had cancer, she didn't tell her family about it. Henrietta was able to keep her secret from everyone until she had started x-ray therapy, and had to go to the hospital everyday. She broke out the news to her cousin Sadie and Margaret and told them she would be okay. But after her x-ray therapy, she became very ill and her skin was all burned. She could feel that blackness spreading inside of her.…

    • 899 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The actions that were taken didn't just affect Henrietta but her family as well especially her daughter Deborah. Henrietta's family didn't even find out about her cells till a few years later and they don't even have medical insurance, many said they should-be been given credit; "patients and, when appropriate, their families are informed about the outcomes of care, treatment, and services that have been provided including unanticipated outcomes." Plus, they misdiagnosed her cancer since it was much more severe than…

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She was finally with her mother who she had longed to know for so long. The main characters of this book: Henrietta Lacks, a woman who died of cervical cancer and whose cells were taken and never stopped growing. Day Lacks, Henrietta’s husband who took her to John Hopkins and visited her. Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter who wanted to know more about her mother and her immortal cells. Dr. Jones, Henrietta’s gynecologist that first examined the tumor on her cervix.…

    • 1001 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I could tell she was in pain and was unable to do lots of things until her wounds were healed. My mother and me also had to help change her bandages and empty her drainage bags that came from her breast. She had the surgery done and went through chemo and later had the reconstruction surgery done. For a while she was better and cancer free, but the cancer came back and slowly it took over her entire body. She died only a few years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.…

    • 886 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Henrietta was such a caring and devoted mother that no one other that her sisters and husband even knew that she was sick, “Until that point, no one except Sadie, Margaret, and Day knew Henrietta was sick,” (65). Henrietta just wanted to take care of her children and live her life; sadly, that was cut short because of her cancer. The scientific community, like Henrietta, withheld many secrets from Henrietta’s family. The major one being that they were in possession of immortal cells that were extracted from Henrietta. The book says, “One of Gey’s colleagues told me that Gey created the pseudonym to throw journalists off the trail of Henrietta’s real identity...and because of that, her family had no idea her cells were alive,” (109).…

    • 1672 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Social justice issues have been present in history for a very long time, and failure to provide someone with basic human rights falls under that, so what right’s does one really have? According to the Ontario Health Care Act, a health practitioner shall not administer the treatment without the patient's consent (Health Care Consent Act, 1996). This occurred in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman from the 1950’s, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer by Dr. Howard Jones in 1951. During her radiation treatments, doctors, including Richard Wesley TeLinde, removed two cervical samples from Lacks without her knowledge or consent.…

    • 828 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays